Sometimes you just need a little outdoor time. Not a full weekend of exploring. Not even a whole day — even a half day. Sometimes just an hour, hour and a half will do.
That well could be the case this weekend, when temperatures are again expected to reach 90, when afternoon storms are again a threat. Under such circumstances, a quick outing into a scenic spot can do the trick.read more
After paying weekly visits to Seven Mile Creek Natural Area west of Hillsborough for eight months, last week I finally had the chance to share this find with other hikers. They were equally impressed.
It was the first of our weekly GetHiking Sunrise, Sunset Summer Beat the Heat Hikes, and it lived up to the hype. Thunderstorms that had been threatening to flare throughout the afternoon vanished by hike time (7 p.m.) and we were treated to the late day light that’s special to the season. As the light faded, over rocky Seven Mile Creek and the surrounding low hills, we could feel it taking the temperature with it. We weren’t exactly chilled by hike’s end — the temperature was 89 less than an hour before the hike — but between the sheltering canopy above and a 7-degree drop by hikes end, we were no longer melting into our boots. You can see a video of that hike last Wednesday on Friday’s post.read more
When Rod Broadbelt began leading hikes at Umstead State Park more than two decades ago, they were events not for the feint of foot. Rod had just retired to Cary, moving from the Philadelphia area where he was a member of a competitive hiking club.
Ten years ago, we ran a weekly series of posts called “Hikes You Can Do.” They were hikes across the state, seven in all, that weren’t long (though some included longer options), that weren’t necessarily strenuous (but would still get your heartbeat up), and that just about anybody could do. read more
The times they are a changin’. And that change is affecting when we get out and play. Two factors in particular affect the when-we-play factor in North Carolina:
North Carolina ranks 9th nationally in number of telecommuting jobs, a position bolstered largely by the state’s high-tech industry, which is more likely to let employees work from home. (Jobs that are most likely to support telecommuting — software programming, information security, data analyst, technical writer — are common here, especially in the Triangle.) Further, the trend is growing: the number of regular telecommuting employees nationwide has increased by 115 percent since 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Between 2000 and 2010, the Raleigh-Cary area had the fastest growing retiree population in the country; the state’s Division of Aging and Adult Services says the senior population in Wake County alone will increase by 163 percent over the next two decades.
Telecommuters with more flexible work schedules and retirees whose time is likewise more malleable means that these two sizable demographics aren’t relegated to just getting out on weekends. Add in a sizable service industry with varied working hours that can leave time off during the day, and we’ve got a seemingly sizable number of candidates for midweek escapes.read more